web analytics
December 20, 2014 / 28 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Yitzhar’s Cinematic Moment

Demolition in the Samaria Jewish town of Yitzhar, April 2014.

Demolition in the Samaria Jewish town of Yitzhar, April 2014.
Photo Credit: Flash 90

Rabbi Shneur Zalman coined the phrase, “living with the times” which means to live life in the light of the weekly Torah portion; and to see it as an indicator for all that happens to us throughout the week—both on a personal and national level. Thus, while some headlines may take effort to source in the weekly Torah portion, the recent story of police disguised as IDF in Yitzhar was relatively easy.

This Shabbat we will read the Torah portion of Shlach which recounts the sin of the spies. The lesson for us today is when scouting out an area within the Land of Israel, we need to be careful how we respond to what we see. This is especially so during the week of the Torah portion of Shlach.

In our recent reenactment of the story, before the ‘spies’ could even return from their ‘report,’ the ruse was discovered. To capture the storyline using modern terminology, the drama became a comedy and the ‘audience’ who witnessed this event unfold started to laugh.

The intention is not that the police should become a ‘laughing stock,’ but that we should all view this event as an opportunity to take stock, and laugh from the great delight achieved in rectifying the sin of the spies. Thus our hope is that the police will also desire to turn the drama into a comedy. That both police and residents, and the entire Jewish nation, will soon laugh together in friendship and camaraderie.

Show Business

The spies’ mistake was that they interpreted what they saw and they over-dramatized what they thought was negative. Moshe sent them to see the Land of Israel and to report back only what they had seen (nothing more nothing less).

Initially, the spies may have gazed at the land with their right eye and see it for what it was—a land of milk and honey, overflowing with the abundance of God’s blessings. But, they also chose to gaze at the land with the power of their left eye—they chose to interpret their findings. The metaphoric images used by the spies to describe the military strength of the Canaanite inhabitants of the land are some of the most powerful in the entire Torah. The spies said: “The land we explored devours its inhabitants. All the people we saw there are giants. We saw the Nephilim [strain of giants] there. We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”

To undo the damage, we must first fix our left eye. In other words we must learn how to portray reality correctly and in a positive way. As the prophet Isaiah stated a few hundred years after the spies’ mission: “If you shall yearn for it [the Land of Israel] and hear [the word of God], then you shall eat the good of the land.” The last part of the verse—“then you shall eat the good of the land”—reflects the result of the final state of rectification when we shall merit to return to our holy land and enjoy its bounty, freely and without fear.

From Drama to Comedy

We mentioned that the spontaneous laughter that occurred after the ‘soldiers’ were discovered to be police should not be viewed as a reason to make the police into a laughing stock, but to provide for an opportunity for us all to take stock. But in addition to fostering a sense of friendship and camaraderie within the Jewish people, there is another thought to have in mind. That the laughter that results from transforming a drama into a comedy should lead to the ultimate joy of eating the “good of the land” freely and without fear.

About the Author: Yonatan Gordon is a student of Harav Yitzchak Ginsburgh, and writes on his personal blog at CommunityofReaders.org.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “Yitzhar’s Cinematic Moment”

  1. David Cohen says:

    Troll alert. They don’t even have the courage to show their faces. What a clown.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Posted to Twitter in Ferguson, MO by St. Louis County Police: "Bricks thrown at police, 2 police cars burned, gun seized by police. Tonight was disappointing."  Their motto is, "To protect and serve."
Prosecutor in Ferguson Case: ‘Witnesses Lied Under Oath’
Latest Indepth Stories
The annual  Chabad menorah lighting in Sydney has been called off this year because of the murders in the Lindt cafe.

The decision to not publicly light the Menorah in Sydney, epitomizes the eternal dilemma of Judaism and Jews in the Diaspora.

Greiff-112814-Men

Am Yisrael is one family, filled with excruciating pain&sorrow for losing the 4 kedoshim of Har Nof

Two dreidels from the author’s extensive collection.

What is its message of the dreidel?” The complexity and hidden nature of history and miracles.

Keeping-Jerusalem

Police play down Arab terrorism as mere “violence” until the truth can no longer be hidden.

The 7 branches of the menorah represent the 7 pillars of secular wisdom, knowledge, and science.

Obama obtained NO verifiable commitments from Cuba it would desist from acts prejudicial to the US

No one would deny that the program subjected detainees to less than pleasant treatment, but the salient point is, for what purpose?

For the past six years President Obama has consistently deplored all Palestinian efforts to end-run negotiations in search of a UN-imposed agreement on Israel.

It’s not an admiration. It is simply a kind of journalist fascination. It stands out, it’s different from more traditional Orthodoxy.

For Am Yisrael, the sun’s movements are subservient to the purpose of our existence.

Israelis now know Arab terrorism isn’t caused by Israeli occupation but by ending Israeli occupation

Anti-Semitism is a social toxin that destroys the things that people most cherish and enjoy.

Amb. Cooper highlighted the impact of the Chanukah/Maccabee spirit on America’s Founding Fathers

Zealousness has its place and time in Judaism; Thank G-d for heroic actions of the Maccabees!

More Articles from Yonatan Gordon
Dancing Hareidim

You can be into modern things and learn Chassidus–this is most encouraged and welcomed.

Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh, dean of the Yitzhar Yeshivah

Rav Ginsburgh, dean of Od Yosef Chai, has come out publicly against any form of price tag vandalism

All involved in the Ferguson debate should learn the laws pertinent to non-Jews: the Noahide Laws.

A “Shliach” means to do acts with complete devotion and dedication in order to help bring Moshiach.

As we Jews returned to the Holy Land and prayed at our holy sites, forces fighting holiness came too

For the Jewish people to move forward we must not despair, rather we must instill hope and optimism.

What the world calls confessional writing, we call teshuvah (returning to God and His Torah).

“God guides our every step in this world. Let’s make the most of these steps.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/yitzhars-cinematic-moment/2014/06/14/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: